Whereas the entrainment of movements and aspirations among audience members has been known as a basis of collective excitement in the theater, the role of the entrainment of cognitive processes among audience members is still unclear. In the current study, temporal patterns of the audience's attention were observed using eyeblink responses. To determine the effect of interactions among audience members on cognitive entrainment, as well as its direction (attractive or repulsive), the eyeblink synchronization of the following two groups were compared: (1) the experimental condition, where the audience members (seven frequent viewers and seven first-time viewers) viewed live performances in situ, and (2) the control condition, where the audience members (15 frequent viewers and 15 first-time viewers) viewed videotaped performances in individual experimental settings (results reported in previous study.) The results of this study demonstrated that the mean values of a measure of asynchrony (i.e., Dinterval) were much lower for the experimental condition than for the control condition. Frequent viewers had a moderate attractive effect that increased as the story progressed, while a strong attractive effect was observed throughout the story for first-time viewers. The attractive effect of interactions among a group of spectators was discussed from the viewpoint of cognitive and somatic entrainment in live performances.
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